The SEO Basics Every Marketer Must Know

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It’s a no-brainer that for a powerful digital presence, you need your website to rank higher on search engines. The key to getting this done is to understand how search engines find, evaluate, and eventually rank the content you create.

The first question you must ask yourself is- Are you creating the right content? What we mean is that you should be crafting tons of high-quality content around the topics you want your business to be known for. This is how you build discovery and relevance, the two primary factors for search engine optimization.

But, this isn’t where it ends. You should build authority as well. No matter how high-quality and relevant your content is, your content wouldn’t rank if you lack the authority factor. Get a slew of backlinks that are of good quality as well as relevant. SEO success is about creating a plan that works for your business. Here’s what you need to know to make your marketing more effective and impactful.

The SEO Plan

Your search engine optimization plan should focus on three metrics-

  • How often are people talking about your content? 
  • How often are people referring to your content? 
  • How often are people citing your content? 

In the modern business world, digital success is very content-oriented. You need to create a plethora of unique content to improve your ranking. As explained, the content should be built around the terms your marketing is targeting, but don’t force it. Google penalizes keyword stuffing, so your primary focus should be on creating rich, resourceful content with appropriate use of keywords.

Put in the time and effort to create high-quality content. Quantity matters, but quality matters more. One great piece of content might get you hundreds of quality backlinks, and a hundred pieces of average content might fail to get even one.

Optimize your page URLs and make sure they are relevant. For example, always use hyphens in your URLs as Google cannot read underscores. As a marketer, it is your responsibility to make your team focus on optimizing images. Lots of marketers focus only on text optimization, but that’s not enough. Optimize images for search engines by using the right keywords and text that works as a caption.

Backlink Profile

An effective SEO strategy begins with a robust backlink profile. Your backlink profile constitutes all the sites that currently link to your site.

You can gauge the strength of your backlink profile- checking the number of backlinks to your website, the unique domains that link to your website, and the quality of both.

Backlinks help you build authority, directly affecting the ranking of your website. Google gives your website a number on its pages in three stages- crawling, indexing, and ranking. Crawling evaluates the quality of your content. The second stage is indexing; it determines how relevant your content is -the keywords you have used in your content. And, at last, ranks you based on your authority.

You can also leverage guest-posting to increasing your website’s authority. It is one of the best inbound marketing strategies that also help your ranking. This way, you get more leads for your marketing and more high-quality links for the SEO.

Don’t go for black hat SEO! It can make you some quick money, but these spammy pages get banned as fast, and it’s an irreparable loss for a marketer since it will decimate the chances of you building something great. So the next time a non-relevant site offers you a link, with all due respect, say no.
Keyword Research

Your inbound marketing will take a whole new level if you get your keyword research right. Keyword research is the strategic route you take to find and analyze terms people are looking up to find solutions like yours.

We understand keywords are the terms you want your business to be known for. But, it’s not just limited to your business; it’s even more pertinent to understand your customer’s standpoint. It tells a lot about their pain points and what they’re struggling with at this point in time.

The data you generate with this approach will make your marketing more meaningful as it gives insights on which search queries you should focus on and target. These actionable insights will inform your content, website optimization, and advertising strategies as well.

Keyword research helps marketers understand the popularity and search volume of the terms they are using in their marketing. Using the keywords right makes your marketing more successful since you get to know what it is that your audience cares about, and you build your content around it.

The trick here is not treating your customers as bots. The search terms matter, but what matters here more is the intent behind those. Understand user intent, analyze the keywords your competitors are ranking for and keep a perfect blend of head terms, medium, and long-tail keywords.

Optimization

You made a content masterpiece, great? But that wouldn’t cut it on its own. Don’t judge a book by its cover doesn’t apply here. So, make sure your web pages look good from the outside for people to see what’s inside.

You know journalists make quite an effort to write a headline. They know it decides to a great extent if people are going to read further or not. This is precisely how title tags work for SEO.

Write an H1 tag for all your blog pages; these tags tell Google what the blog entails. Meta descriptions play the same crucial role, so write one for all of your web pages. Make sure they are short and relevant. Optimize it so google doesn’t cut it. And with words, incentivize people to click all the magic you have to offer.

You know the intent of your audience. Now, optimize your pages for the same intent. Use plug-ins such as Yoast and Rank Math that help you save time and make your SEO more efficient. Yoast, for example, allows swift changes to metadata as well as titles, gives interlinking suggestions, duly formats your images garners more visitors from social media and increases engagement.
Customer Knowledge

It’s easy to dive into your SEO strategy, but it will only work when you have a thorough knowledge of your market and audience. Wrap your head around who your customers are, their goals and motivations. What are they searching for, and why?

The idea here is that you want to rank for what your audience is trying to find. So, to rank for it, you need to comprehend what your customers want in the first place.

Now, ask yourself who is it that’s searching for products and services similar to yours? When do they search for it? Are they searching for it throughout the year, or is it confined to certain events? What terms are they using in their search? What kind of questions do they ask? Are they using laptops or mobile for this search? And so on!

Once you’ve got the keywords you want to target, it’s time to check their popularity. Keywords with high search volume take longer to rank. But, choosing the ones too low won’t help either. You need to find a balance here and experiment. The long tails keywords with low search volume may give you what you’re looking for. Not only because they are specific, but also because they are intent-based.

SEO Competitor Analysis

As a marketer, you naturally want to outpace your competitors and win in the organic search. You might be doing everything right, but to lead in the game, you need to know what they are doing and what’s working for them.

Competitor analysis will also reveal your competitor’s weak points, which by all means, you can transform into your strengths. You can also find their strengths that can also work for you, a win regardless.

Competitor analysis begins with determining your real competitors. These are the businesses competing for the same keywords as yours in the Google search.

Analyze what keywords they are ranking for, their domain ranking, tentative organic search traffic, backlink growth, most popular content, and the list goes on! You can use ahrefs and Moz’s Keyword Explorer for the in-depth analysis of your competitors.
Wrapping it Up

SEO is a long-term game, but it pays off well. Businesses with well-optimized sites drive relevant traffic, get more inbound leads, and convert more. If people can’t find the amazing things you have to offer, all your efforts will only go down the drain.

People are concerned about their privacy, so make sure your website is secure and easily accessible to your users. Mobile internet access has broken records and has surpassed desktop search. People spend more time on mobile now than ever so, analyze your page speed and try to make it more mobile-friendly.

Don’t write just for the search engine. Focus on humans first and write for them. Optimize your content and overall website to improve customer experience; the rankings will take care of themselves.

You’re not in the game to impress Google; you’re in the game to captivate your audience. Remember that! 

Updated on: 12-Nov-2020

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